How To Run Pipe Through Cinder Block

Are you planning to install additional piping in your house, and do you need it to go through a cinder block wall? Do you want to know how to run your pipe through the cinder block? You’ve come to the right place because we have researched this question and have the answer for you.

Here is a summary of the steps that you can follow to run a pipe through cinder block.

  1. Mark the location of the pipe on the cinder block wall.
  2. Drill a slightly bigger hole in the cinder block.
  3. Insert the pipe through the hole.
  4. Apply concrete around the pipe to seal the gap between the pipe and the hole.

We'll talk more about running pipe through cinder block in the succeeding sections. We'll cover an optional method that you can use when drilling for large-diameter pipes. Read on!

Cinder block piled outside a house undergoing construction, How To Run Pipe Through Cinder Block

What Are The Best Tools For Running Pipe Through Cinder Block?

Load bearing cinderblocks for a two story house

The key activity that you need to accomplish to run a pipe through a cinder block is to create a hole that is large enough for the sleeve pipe to go through.

Cinder block is made from aggregate materials bound together by concrete. Cinder block is made of concrete and can contain aggregates made from small stones, so it is important to pick your tools and equipment accordingly.

Hammer Drill

A hammer drill and an impact drill are the same types of drill. This power tool is ideal for drilling into hard materials like concrete, stone, or cinder block.

Aside from the motor that rotates the drill bit at high speeds, a hammer drill also has a second gear and a clutch that produces horizontal movement. The horizontal movement effectively creates a hammering action with the drill bit while it bores into the material.

The hammering motion of a hammer drill produces enough concussive force to pulverize the stone or concrete that you’re drilling into. This weakens the material, making it easier for the drill bit to bore through. Most modern hammer drills have the option to switch off the hammer or impact function. 

Check out this masonry hammer drill on Amazon.

Masonry Bit

Drill bits for concrete are called masonry bits. Masonry drill bits are made with sturdier metals to be able to drill through concrete, brick, and stone.

A masonry bit with a tungsten carbide tip or a diamond tip is ideal for drilling through concrete. Tungsten carbide allows the bit to retain its sharpness longer, which is important when drilling through concrete.

A masonry bit’s tip is normally larger in diameter than the shaft of the bit. Some masonry tips are flat with three sharp points—the center of the bit and the two edges of the tip.

The movement of the drill bit against the concrete digs through the material at three points, weakening the rest of the area. Masonry bits are best used at a slow speed to prevent them from overheating.

See this drill bit set on Amazon.

How To Run Pipe Through Cinder Block

PVC pipes with insulation foam for winter

Here are the complete steps on how to run a pipe through a cinder block.

Prepare The Surface For Drilling

  1. Measure the diameter of the pipe. Use a tool like a vernier caliper to accurately get the diameter of the pipe.
  2. Add an inch to that measurement.
    • The extra inch is for the diameter of the sleeve.
    • Sleeves protect pipes from the contraction and movement of concrete, bricks, and blocks—including cinder block.
    • The sleeve pipe will absorb any movement in the concrete and cinder block from contraction and expansion, preventing damage to your pipe.
    • The length of the sleeve pipe is equal to the thickness of the cinder block.
  1. Divide the total diameter by two. This will give you the distance from the edge of the sleeve pipe to the center of its diameter.
  2. Choose an ideal location for the pipe from inside the house.
  3. Mark this location.
  4. Measure a distance from the edge of your marking that is equivalent to the distance between the edge of the pipe to the center of the diameter.
  5. Mark this location on the inside wall.

Check out this caliper on Amazon.

Check out this video for details on the process.

Drill The Pilot Hole

  1. Load your drill with a long masonry bit that can go through the cinder block thickness.
  2. Drill a hole through the wall. This will give you the center of the hole on the other side of the wall.
    • When drilling the hole, make sure that your drill bit remains parallel with the horizontal.
    • Use a low speed when drilling the pilot hole.
  1. Using the pilot hole as the center, draw a circle on the external wall that matches the radius of the sleeve.
    • A radius is half the diameter of the sleeve.
  1. Draw another circle that is at least a quarter of an inch bigger than the diameter of the sleeve.
    • The bigger diameter will give you enough space for concrete between the sleeve and the cinder block.

Drill A Hole Through The Cinder Block

  1. If you have a masonry core bit that is long enough to go through the thickness of the wall, use that to drill a hole through the cinder block. Use a slow speed when drilling a hole through the cinder block.
    • A core bit is a type of drill bit for drilling large holes. The masonry variant is made for drilling holes through concrete using a hammer drill.
    • If you do not have a hammer core bit, use a long enough drill bit instead. You can use the same masonry drill bit that you used to drill the pilot hole.
    • When drilling the hole using a masonry bit, drill along the perimeter of the circle. Space each of the holes so that they are a quarter of an inch apart.
    • Once you've drilled the holes along the perimeter of the circle, start drilling holes into the center area of the circle.
    • Make sure each hole that you drill will go through to the other side of the cinder block.
  1. Hammer the debris out of the hole.
    • If you have many smaller holes, use a chisel to connect the small holes and remove the center of the cinder block.
  1. Once you clear the hole, insert the sleeve into the hole to check that you have the correct size.
  2. Use a level to make sure that the sleeve has the angle that you desire.

Check out this rotary hammer core bit on Amazon.

Straight pile cinderblocks for a basement

Install The Sleeve

  1. Mix the correct amount of concrete in a mixing pail following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  2. Apply some concrete at the bottom of the hole.
  3. Install the sleeve pipe and check the level. Adjust the level accordingly by adding concrete under the pipe or by removing excess concrete.
  4. Fill the rest of the space between the pipe and the cinder block with concrete. Press the concrete into the sides until you fill the space.
  5. Use a piece of 2 x 2 to even out the concrete around the sleeve pipe until it is flush with the cinder block.
  6. Do the same thing on the opposite side of the cinder block.
  7. Wait for the concrete to set following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Install The Pipe

  1. Mark your pipe with the length of the sleeve.
  2. Measure half an inch from each end of your initial mark going to the center.
  3. Wrap the center space with a backer rod. The thickness of your backer rod should match the space between the sleeve pipe and the pipe.
    • You can use silicone adhesive to keep the backer rod in place.
  1. Wait until the adhesive dries.
  2. Insert the pipe into the sleeve pipe.
  3. Position the backer rods in the middle of the sleeve pipe.
  4. Check the level of the pipe.
  5. Fill the space with sealant until it is flush with the cinder wall.
  6. Repeat the same process on the opposite side of the cinder block.
  7. Wait for the concrete and sealant to dry completely and continue installing your pipe inside and outside your house.

Watch the video below for more details on the process.

Wrapping Up

Straight pile cinderblocks for a basement

Running a pipe through cinder block requires a few special tools. To do the job, you will need to drill a hole and seal the area with concrete and sealant.

If you found this article interesting, check out these related posts:

Can You Cement Over Plastic Pipes?

How To Run PVC Pipe Under Concrete?

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